- Relaxing during the good weather
CSI3* Hagen just outside Osnabruck in Germany was an outstanding show. It was really well organised and very competitive jumping.
It's a little typical of Germany though, that whereas in other countries three star would be a lower standard, but as there were many good riders and horses here, Sunday was arguably bigger and more difficult than a normal three star Grand Prix.
This was evident in the result being only six clears out of 46 starters . I'm pleased to say that I with K Club Lady was the first of those clears and the crowd gave me a rapturous welcome as they had to watch 26 combinations fall foul of Frank Rothenberger's track before we appeared.
In the jump off the rules were that 25 per cent returned. It's hard to know if this is a good rule or not. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't, I suppose normally when it suits me!
K Club Lady had the second fence down in the jump off and with some of the four-faulters from the first round having fast clears in the jump off this pushed me down into eighth place. The day before the mare jumped great in the GP qualifier, having a clear and just one time fault.
Complete also competed well during the week, finishing fourth in the main speed class on Friday afternoon.
The horses are resting this weekend in Holland and Complete and K Club Lady will travel to Valencia in Spain leaving next Monday for the first leg of the Global Champions' Tour. This week I am at home giving lessons, riding a bit, helping Mark and getting on top of my office work.
Check back next Monday for my views on the World Cup Finals, the disqualification of McLain Ward, and some opinions on what direction the sport needs to go.
- Splendor won the 1m40 class at Lummen
I've just arrived up to Arnhem in Holland where my horses will be based between shows for the summer. I was absolutely delighted with my weekend in Lummen at the three star show, which was the start of my summer campaign, and all the horses jumped very well.
Splendor won the 1m40 class on Saturday in good style, with over 80 starters in the class. I'm really over the moon with my new horse K Club Lady. I jumped her in three competitions over the weekend and she was clear every time, the highlight being a 3rd place double clear finish in the Grand Prix.
She only arrived in my yard 17 days ago and the fact that she's able to go and get such a result as this in such a difficult arena as Lummen in that short space of time is very promising indeed.
From here the horses have a few days off. I was meant to fly home but obviously with the volcanic dust disruption I'm now unable to travel, so I'm going to stay with the horses for the next few days before their competition at Hagen in Germany which starts on Wednesday.
I really hope that everything gets back to normal at the airports soon so that Ruth can come out and visit me!
In other news, it was great to see Dermott Lennon finish 5th overall in the World Cup Final today with Woods Rosbotham's Hallmark Elite, which Woods' daughter Lisa had produced as a young horse. It was wonderful to see Dermott deliver two clear rounds today in the final, and it was a reminder to anyone who had forgotten exactly why he was World Champion. Hats off, and well done Dermott!
Check back next week for more results.
My horses just left tonight to make the journey to Lummen in Belgium, where I will compete this weekend. I take K Club Lady, Complete and Splendor.
Lummen's main arena is an ideal introduction for returning to international jumping. The ring is spacious but very spooky and usually if the horses go around there straight and easy they'll normally jump in any ring.
On Saturday last I hosted Workshop 3 at Waterside, which was a great success. This was the last workshop that I will give at Waterside for some time as I should be competing almost every weekend from now until August. I am, however, conducting clinics in various countries midweek throughout the summer.
I'm itching to get back on the international circuit as I've had eight weeks now at home and with the added incentive of having my new horse to ride, K Club Lady, I'm itching to get back on the road.
Check back after the weekend to see how I got on.
- Complete, who took his third win of the HSI Chippison Tour at Warrington today
It's been a long but successful week. Last Monday I travelled to Cairo to give a three-day clinic in Egypt. The weather was fantastic - 30 degrees actually during the day and I was teaching in an equestrian club that was situated right in the middle of the city, which has a population of seven million.
The standard was great and talent of the younger riders especially was fantastic - I enjoyed it immensely.
Just got home now from Warrington in Kilkenny on this Bank Holiday Monday, where Complete picked up his third win of this HSI Chippison series. He was calm and collected, and his jump-off round felt smooth and he won it well within himself.
I was really delighted with my new horse, K Club Lady, who was a new arrival to my stable last Thursday and she jumped a beautiful double clear to finish 6th.
I've no show next weekend but I'm holding my final Workshop next Saturday at Waterside Stud before heading abroad on my international campaign. Check back next week to see how that goes.